Finding and losing lots of investigators

August 16, 2010
Yesterday Anghedon (Brun) and Eillen (Jazmin) were baptized. Their Baptism was before church and was very special. They were really nervous, but very excited as well. First my companion Elder Montoya had his first baptism, and baptized Jasmin. Then I baptized Brun. The water was cold, but the spirit was strong. There were a good number of members present as well as Jazmin’s dad and a couple of her friends. One of her friends loved the service and we might start teaching him. After the baptisms the sisters, my comp, and I sang “Divina Luz” and Brun shared his testimony. Brun shared how they had heard about the gospel. A woman named Gale, had worked at the same call center as Jazmin for a week, but then went to work somewhere else. During the week Gale was working with Jazmin, she told her about the Book of Mormon, and Jazmin became very interested. Gale told her that she would send her a Book of Mormon. Brun said that they expected the book to come in the mail, but instead it came in the hands of two young men with ties and placs. He shared that him and Jazmine had been married for 11 years, but that things had gotten so much better between them since they started going to church. He was really shocked and kinda embarrassed when the missionaries (that’s us) had come to wake him up to take him to church, and decided to go by himself from then on. He told everyone that although he never for one second thought he would be Mormon, but that he was really happy about their decision to be baptized. Its also really interesting that the other day when we were talking about Lehi’s Vision of the Tree of Life, Jazmin told us that she had had a dream just like it a couple months before.
Today was changes. In our district only Elder Whitlock had changes. His companion Elder Urbina is going to train and the new missionary comes tomorrow. It was really surprising that Turrialba didn’t have changes. It was also very possible for the Hermanas to have changes but they didn’t either. Elder Mitton and Elder Castillo are going home. The new AP is Elder Trost from Idaho, and our new ZL is Elder Centeno from Panama.
Jessica and Isa came to church yesterday. They still don’t feel ready for baptism though. Brun and Jazmin were confirmed and Brun received the Aaronic Priesthood right after church. Yesterday was mother’s day here in Costa Rica, so all the sacrament talks were centered on the importance of mothers. Happy Mothers day in Costa Rica mom! *Ü* We also served cake and soda to all the women in Relief Society.
These last couple weeks we’ve been applying the 8 points we learned in the Leadership Capacitation, and teaching it to the other missionaries in the district. We did divisions with Paraiso and Turrialba this week. I went to Paraiso on Wednesday and had some fun with Elder Whitlock there. We had some good lessons but the part of Paraiso that they are working in is still a complete mess. The streets are so muddy.
On Thursday morning we went to Turrialba for District Meeting. I gave a summary of the 8 points so we can start to apply them. We are going to focus on and practice one of those points at each district meeting, these next few weeks, so we can learn each point more in depth. After district meeting we made Pupusas (masa thing, filled with refried beans and cheese, and sometimes meet, and eaten with salsa). Pupusas are a typical food from El Salvador, and since Hermana Flores is from El Salvador we decided to learn how to make them as a district. It was fun, and although they didn’t turn out perfectly, they were pretty good, except for Hermana Vallecillo got sick later that day and threw up all the pupusas she had eaten. Its probably because she’s from Honduras and she used to eating Balliadas (Typical Hondurañean food which is a tortilla with eggs, meet, refried beans, and natilla (which they call mantequilla in Honduras, but its not butter, its actually the white cream liquidy thing that I cant remember what its called in english). I know how to make Balliadas as well, because I've had five Hondurañean comps.
After district meeting I stayed in Turrialba to do divisions there. I was with Elder Castro. We had some sweet lessons and we were able to put 4 baptismal goals with Patricia, Jessica, Cassidy, and Journey for the 28th of August. They are really awesome and we hope nothing goes wrong so they can be baptized.
These last couple weeks we’ve been finding and losing lots of investigators. We found Jennifer and had great lessons with her about the Plan of Salvation and The Restoration, and she agreed to be baptized if she got an answer, but this week she basically told us she didn’t want us to keep coming. She didn’t say it directly, but she made loads of excuses and kept saying “I don’t know”, so I asked her if she wanted us to keep coming and she said no. We also found a family named Eric and Maria and their neighbor Alex, whose wife left him. We found out that what they want is peace, and the reason they didn’t have peace is because they are drug addicts. We taught them about the Word of Wisdom in the first lesson because once we find out their problems and resolve them with the gospel, the rest of the lessons are perfect. We had a great lesson, and they told us they were going to go to church, leave their addictions, and be baptized. We told them we were going to help them. The problem is we were only able to find them at home once since then and although we went to pick them up three times during church, they were never there. Although William and Genori had started to progress again and promised to be baptized if they received an answer, they haven’t come to church yet. If they don’t show faith by coming to church they wont receive an answer so easily and they will never progress. Also our investigator Cristobal died this week. We don’t know how he died, but my comp went by his house while on divisions, and there was a bunch of people there and somebody told him it was because “macho” (Cristobal) died. He was 75 years old but seemed younger and in good health. We also committed one of Hna Xinia’s daughters Maria Jose, to be baptized on September 4, if she receives an answer, and committed her to actually do her part to receive an answer. We asked her what she wants in life and shared how the gospel can help her have what she wants. We went to our appointment with her this week and she failed us again. She’s done it a million times. I don’t know how to get her to understand the importance, but I guess she just a normal, rebellious, irresponsible, 14 year old. Oh well, well keep trying.
We have started to teach a Young Woman member named Pamela, who just started coming back to church, and her boyfriend Jorge, who isn’t a member. Jorge has come to church with Pamela and really likes it. We put a baptismal goal with him for the 28th of August. 
He is awesome, and understands really well. The only problem is that he actually lives in another city an hour and a half away, Escazu, and we can only teach him once a week. He comes here every weekend, and he is planning on moving here, but we still have to verify to see if he should get baptized here or in Escazu. We are also teaching Pamela’s friend Juliana, who agreed to be baptized on September 4, if she receives an answer by then.
Gracias a todos por escribirme. Paz.